24 July 2012
A major, 6.6m pounds Highways Agency project to tackle congestion and boost safety around the M60 at Cheadle will get underway next month.
To minimise inconvenience to drivers and generate cost and efficiency savings, two schemes are being delivered in four months of roadworks which will start on Wednesday 8 August and should be completed in November.
Some overnight work to install traffic management will be taking place from Thursday 2 August but will avoid dates when Olympics football events are taking place at Old Trafford.
The project involves turning a section of the hard shoulder on the anti-clockwise M60 into an extra running lane where it meets the M56 Sharston Link - improving safety and reducing congestion where drivers enter the M60 from the M56.
This work will be taking place between Junction 4 and Junction 2 of the M60.
Work on the second element of the project - improving safety and capacity on the Junction 3 exit slip where it takes anti-clockwise and clockwise M60 traffic onto the southbound A34 Kingsway - started earlier this year with BT completing relocation of equipment to enable the Highways Agency scheme to begin.
The Highways Agency's work involves adding a third lane on the slip road and signalising the junction where it meets the A34, bringing improvements for drivers leaving the M60 as well as those already on the A34 and heading away from Manchester.
Traffic management arrangements used for the BT scheme along the A34 and on the slip road from the M60 - including a lane closure on the southbound A34 and on the slip road - will be retained by the Highways Agency. This will help deliver a larger portion this scheme through daytime working - bringing forward the completion date and reducing the impact of overnight works on local residents.
One lane of the entry slip road from the northbound A34 onto the anti-clockwise M60 will also be closed over the period.
Work will also be taking place throughout the day along the anti-clockwise M60 with the hard shoulder closed to traffic for about two miles and a 50mph speed limit in place around the clock through narrowed lanes for the safety of drivers and roadworkers.
The Highways Agency is advising drivers that regular overnight closures of slip roads, the eastbound Sharston link road from the M56 onto the M60 and anti-clockwise main carriageway of the M60 will be needed.
Overnight closures, which will be signed in advance and operated with clearly-signed diversions, will affect:
. M56 eastbound Sharston Link between Junctions 3 and 1
. M60 anticlockwise between Junctions 5 and 3
. The entry slip road from the northbound A34 onto the anti-clockwise M60 at Junction 3
. M60 Junction Junction 3 anti-clockwise exit slip road onto the southbound A34
. M60 Junction 3 clockwise exit slip which merges with the anti-clockwise exit slip before meeting the southbound A34.
Any overnight closures will usually be between 10pm and 5am during the week or to 7am on Saturday or Sunday mornings.
None of the work should affect traffic heading towards Manchester Airport over the summer holiday period.
The Highways Agency has also planned the project with regional Olympics activities such as the football at Old Trafford - as well as other summer and early autumn events - in mind. Overnight work will be delayed or postponed if needed to help drivers enjoy smooth journeys to and away from events including league and cup football in Manchester in the forthcoming new season.
Neal Symmons, Highways Agency project sponsor, said, "This work represents a major investment by the Highways Agency to improve safety, reduce congestion and give drivers more reliable journeys around this section of the M60 without increasing the 'footprint' of the motorway. "In both cases we will be turning short sections of the hard shoulder into permanent running lanes to increase capacity and provide safer merging arrangements where traffic from the M60 and M56 and the M60 and A34 meet respectively. Needless to say, we cannot deliver a project of this size and complexity without some short-term inconvenience but by combining two schemes into one scheme and confining carriageway, link road and slip road closures to overnight periods when traffic is lightest, most customers should not experience any significant delays. We will also be working hard to keep drivers and local people informed about progress with the improvements including publicising overnight closures and diversions."
Scheme progress reports will be published on the Highways Agency's website at http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/34712.aspx. A downloadable 'e-flyer' on each of the schemes is also available on the website.
Drivers can also ring the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 for further information.
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